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Interacting with Computers 14

Editors:Dan Diaper; Dianne Murray
Dates:2002
Volume:14
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Standard No:ISSN 0953-5438
Papers:45
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 1
  2. IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 2
  3. IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 3
  4. IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 4
  5. IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 5
  6. IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 6

IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 1

A web of contradictions BIBAK 1-14
  Phil Turner; Susan Turner
We describe our use of contradictions, a concept central to a popular formulation of activity theory, to derive requirements of a new technical system to support an administrative system. Contradictions are the underlying causes of disturbances in the free operation of workplace activities. We argue and demonstrate that the resolution of such contradictions can be used as the basis for the (user-centred) design of a new system. We conclude that contradictions are both conceptually valuable in understanding the design of systems and are of considerable practical use.
Keywords: Activity theory; Requirements; Case study; User-centred design
Perceived disorientation: an examination of a new measure to assess web design effectiveness BIBAK 15-29
  Jaspreet S. Ahuja; Jane Webster
In this paper, we present the development of a new measure of perceived disorientation that helps to explain experiences with Web-based systems. Two studies, incorporating over 300 participants, provide evidence for the measure's construct validity. The first study is a survey that develops this new measure and distinguishes it from ease of use. The second study, an experiment investigating users performing an information retrieval task on the Web, further distinguishes disorientation from ease of use, and relates it to actions. Moreover, the study compares the effects of Web designs containing simple and global navigation systems; these systems related to perceived disorientation but not to ease of use or actions. Finally, the study examines disorientation's relationship with user performance and demonstrates that perceived disorientation relates more strongly than actions to performance. Our perceived disorientation measure is simple and quick to administer to users, and we conclude by suggesting that designers will find it useful in assessing and comparing Web designs.
Keywords: Disorientation; Lost; Ease of use; Navigation; World Wide Web; Internet; Performance; Web design; Construct validity; Electronic commerce
Teallach: a model-based user interface development environment for object databases BIBAK 31-68
  Tony Griffiths; Peter J. Barclay; Norman W. Paton; Jo McKirdy; Jessie Kennedy; Philip D. Gray; Richard Cooper; Carole A. Goble; Paulo Pinheiro da Silva
Model-based user interface development environments show promise for improving the productivity of user interface developers, and possibly for improving the quality of developed interfaces. While model-based techniques have previously been applied to the area of database interfaces, they have not been specifically targeted at the important area of object database applications. Such applications make use of models that are semantically richer than their relational counterparts in terms of both data structures and application functionality. In general, model-based techniques have not addressed how the information referenced in such applications is manifested within the described models, and is utilised within the generated interface itself. This lack of experience with such systems has led to many model-based projects providing minimal support for certain features that are essential to such data intensive applications, and has prevented object database interface developers in particular from benefitting from model-based techniques. This paper presents the Teallach model-based user interface development environment for object databases, describing the models it supports, the relationships between these models, the tool used to construct interfaces using the models and the generation of Java programs from the declarative models. Distinctive features of Teallach include comprehensive facilities for linking models, a flexible development method, an open architecture, and the generation of running applications based on the models constructed by designers.
Keywords: Model based user interface development; Object databases; User interfaces to databases
Linking tasks, dialogue and GUI design: a method involving UML and Lean Cuisine+ BIBAK 69-86
  C. J. Scogings; C. H. E. Phillips
Unified Modelling Language (UML) is rapidly becoming the international standard for software design notation and methods. However, it offers little or no support for the design of the user interface. Models and notations are required for describing user tasks and the structure of the human-computer dialogue to support these tasks. Lean Cuisine+ provides a notation for both dialogue and task modelling. This paper describes a method for the initial steps of interface design which incorporates both the UML and Lean Cuisine+ notations and provides a means of representing tasks in the context of the dialogue structure of the user interface.
Keywords: User interface design; Dialogue modelling; Task modelling; Unified modelling language; Lean Cuisine+

IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 2

From doing to being: bringing emotion into interaction BIB 89-92
  Gilbert Cockton
Frustrating the user on purpose: a step toward building an affective computer BIBAK 93-118
  Jocelyn Scheirer; Raul Fernandez; Jonathan Klein; Rosalind W. Picard
Using a deliberately slow computer-game-interface to induce a state of hypothesised frustration in users, we collected physiological, video and behavioural data, and developed a strategy for coupling these data with real-world events. The effectiveness of our strategy was tested in a study with thirty six subjects, where the system was shown to reliably synchronise and gather data for affect analysis. A pattern-recognition strategy known as Hidden Markov Models was applied to each subject's physiological signals of skin conductivity and blood volume pressure in an effort to see if regimes of likely frustration could be automatically discriminated from regimes when frustration was much less likely. This pattern-recognition approach performed significantly better than random guessing at classifying the two regimes. Mouse-clicking behaviour was also synchronised to frustration-eliciting events and analysed, revealing four distinct patterns of clicking responses. We provide recommendations and guidelines for using physiology as a dependent measure for HCI experiments, especially when considering human emotions in the HCI equation.
Keywords: Affect; Affective computing; User interface; Pattern recognition; Human-computer interaction; Biosensing; Emotion physiology
This computer responds to user frustration:: Theory, design, and results BIBAK 119-140
  J. Klein; Y. Moon; R. W. Picard
Use of technology often has unpleasant side effects, which may include strong, negative emotional states that arise during interaction with computers. Frustration, confusion, anger, anxiety and similar emotional states can affect not only the interaction itself, but also productivity, learning, social relationships, and overall well-being. This paper suggests a new solution to this problem: designing human-computer interaction systems to actively support users in their ability to manage and recover from negative emotional states. An interactive affect-support agent was designed and built to test the proposed solution in a situation where users were feeling frustration. The agent, which used only text and buttons in a graphical user interface for its interaction, demonstrated components of active listening, empathy, and sympathy in an effort to support users in their ability to recover from frustration. The agent's effectiveness was evaluated against two control conditions, which were also text-based interactions: (1) users' emotions were ignored, and (2) users were able to report problems and 'vent' their feelings and concerns to the computer. Behavioral results showed that users chose to continue to interact with the system that had caused their frustration significantly longer after interacting with the affect-support agent, in comparison with the two controls. These results support the prediction that the computer can undo some of the negative feelings it causes by helping a user manage his or her emotional state.
Keywords: User emotion; Affective computing; Affect; Social interface; Frustration; Human-centred design; Empathetic interface
Computers that recognise and respond to user emotion: theoretical and practical implications BIBAK 141-169
  Rosalind W. Picard; Jonathan Klein
Prototypes of interactive computer systems have been built that can begin to detect and label aspects of human emotional expression, and that respond to users experiencing frustration and other negative emotions with emotionally supportive interactions, demonstrating components of human skills such as active listening, empathy, and sympathy. These working systems support the prediction that a computer can begin to undo some of the negative feelings it causes by helping a user manage his or her emotional state. This paper clarifies the philosophy of this new approach to human-computer interaction: deliberately recognising and responding to an individual user's emotions in ways, that help users meet their needs. We define user needs in a broader perspective than has been hitherto discussed in the HCI community, to include emotional and social needs, and examine technology's emerging capability to address and support such needs. We raise and discuss potential concerns and objections regarding this technology, and describe several opportunities for future work.
Keywords: User emotion; Affective computing; Social interface; Frustration; Human-centred design; Empathetic interface; Emotional needs

IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 3

Editorial BIB 173-174
  Bruce Thomas; Jim Warren
Developing adaptable user interfaces for component-based systems BIBAK 175-194
  John Grundy; John Hosking
Software components are becoming increasingly popular design and implementation technologies that can be plugged and played to provide user-enhanceable software. However, developing software components with user interfaces that can be adapted to diverse reuse situations is challenging. Examples of such adaptations include extending, composing and reconfiguring multiple component user interfaces, and adapting component user interfaces to particular user preferences, roles and subtasks. We describe our recent work in facilitating such adaptation via the concept of user interface aspects, which support effective component user interface design and realisation using an extended, component-based software architecture.
Keywords: Adaptive user interfaces; Component-based user interfaces; Software architectures for user interfaces
The stretchable selection tool: an alternative to copy and paste BIBAK 195-209
  Mark Apperley; Dale Fletcher; Bill Rogers
Copy and paste, or cut and paste, using a clipboard or paste buffer is the principal facility provided to users for transferring data between and within application software. This mechanism is clumsy to use where several pieces of information must be moved systematically, for example, when filling a form or building a table.
   We present an alternative, more natural user interface facility to make the task less onerous, and to provide improved visual feedback. Our mechanism -- the stretchable selection tool (SST) -- is a semi-transparent overlay augmenting the mouse pointer to automate paste operations and provide information to prompt the user. Two prototype implementations are described, one of which functions in a collaborative software environment allowing users to cooperate on multiple copy/paste operations.
   We also present the results of an informal user evaluation contrasting the SST with traditional cut and paste, and with another multiple copy/paste system.
Keywords: Copy and paste; Cut and paste; Paste; Multiple selection; Collaborative; Transparent overlay; Augmented pointer
Which animation effects improve indirect manipulation? BIBAK 211-229
  B. H. Thomas; V. Demczuk
This paper describes an experiment to explore the effectiveness of animation in improving indirect manipulation operations. Indirect manipulation operations are those initiated by command menus and buttons to perform a transformation on a graphical object or set of graphical objects. The particular improvement is an operation's ability to show both what would happen if the operation were committed and what would happen if it were cancelled while an operation is being considered. The experiment required subjects to watch a simple alignment operation for a set of graphical objects. They were then asked to record the original placement of those graphical objects. Each task used one of four visual cues: modified telltale, wiggle, colour, or no visual cue. We found the modified telltale, wiggle, and colour visual effects significantly more effective than no visual feedback for cuing the user as to original position of the graphical objects. The modified telltale and colour effects were significantly more effective than the wiggle effect. The major conclusion drawn from this experiment is the use of visual feedback improves a user's ability to remember the previous position of graphical objects after an alignment operation.
Keywords: Graphical user interfaces; Indirect manipulation; Animation; Warping
Visual gesture interfaces for virtual environments BIBAK 231-250
  R. G. O'Hagan; A. Zelinsky; S. Rougeaux
Virtual environments provide a whole new way of viewing and manipulating 3D data. Current technology moves the images out of desktop monitors and into the space immediately surrounding the user. Users can literally put their hands on the virtual objects. Unfortunately, techniques for interacting with such environments are yet to mature. Gloves and sensor-based trackers are unwieldy, constraining and uncomfortable to use. A natural, more intuitive method of interaction would be to allow the user to grasp objects with their hands and manipulate them as if they were real objects.
   We are investigating the use of computer vision in implementing a natural interface based on hand gestures. A framework for a gesture recognition system is introduced along with results of experiments in colour segmentation, feature extraction and template matching for finger and hand tracking, and simple hand pose recognition. Implementation of a gesture interface for navigation and object manipulation in virtual environments is presented.
Keywords: Gesture recognition; Virtual environments; Computer vision; Interaction
Supporting special-purpose health care models via adaptive interfaces to the web BIBAK 251-267
  James R. Warren; Heath K. Frankel; Joseph T. Noone
The potential of the Internet and intranets to facilitate development of clinical information systems has been evident for some time. Most Web-based clinical workstation interfaces, however, provide merely a loose collection of access channels. There are numerous examples of systems for access to either patient data or clinical guidelines, but only isolated cases where clinical decision support is presented integrally with the process of patient care, in particular, in the form of active alerts and reminders based on patient data. Moreover, pressures in the health industry are increasing the need for doctors to practice in accordance with 'best practice' guidelines and often to operate under novel healthcare arrangements. We present the Care Plan On-Line () system, which provides intranet-based support for the SA HealthPlus Coordinated Care model for chronic disease management. We describe the interface design rationale of, which is based on constrained adaptation of the user interface while maintaining user control. We also describe the implementation framework, which is flexible and broadly applicable to support new healthcare models over intranets or the Internet.
Keywords: Alerts; Clinical practice guidelines; Decision support; Health information systems; General practice medicine; Mixed-initiative user interface

IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 4

Universal usability BIB 269-270
  David G. Novick; Jean C. Scholtz
Developing a practical inclusive interface design approach BIBAK 271-299
  Simeon Keates; P. John Clarkson; Peter Robinson
It is known that many products, both software and hardware, are not accessible to large sections of the population. Designers instinctively design for able-bodied users and are either unaware of the needs of users with different capabilities, or do not know how to accommodate their needs into the design cycle.
   The aim of this paper is to present a methodological design approach for implementing inclusive interface design. This will begin with a discussion about what constitutes good inclusive design and suitable measures of success. A summary of the principal methods for designing for users with different capabilities is given along with a description of a model, the inclusive design cube, that displays how the different approaches are complementary and can provide complete population coverage. Two case studies shall be used to illustrate the use of the model. The first details the design of an interface for an interactive robot. The second looks at the design of an information point for use in a post office, and shall be used to highlight the use of both the design approach and the model.
Keywords: User-aware design; Inclusive design; Functional impairments; Case studies
E-graffiti: evaluating real-world use of a context-aware system BIBAK 301-312
  Jenna Burrell; Geri K. Gay
Much of the previous research in context-aware computing has sought to find a workable definition of context and to develop systems that could detect and interpret contextual characteristics of an user environment. However, less time has been spent studying the usability of these types of systems. This was the goal of our project. E-graffiti is a context-aware application that detects the user's location on a college campus and displays text notes to the user based on their location. Additionally, it allows them to create notes that they can associate with a specific location. We released E-graffiti to 57 students who were using laptops that could access the campus wireless network. Their use of E-graffiti was logged in a remote database and they were also required to fill out a questionnaire towards the end of the semester.
   The lessons learned from the evaluation of E-graffiti point to themes other designers of ubiquitous and context-aware applications may need to address in designing their own systems. Some of the issues that emerged in the evaluation stage included difficulties with a misleading conceptual model, lack of use due to the reliance on explicit user input, the need for a highly relevant contextual focus, and the potential benefits of rapid, ongoing prototype development in tandem with user evaluation.
Keywords: Context-aware computing; Universal usability; Wireless network
Auditing accessibility of UK Higher Education web sites BIBAK 313-325
  David Sloan; Peter Gregor; Paul Booth; Lorna Gibson
Given the increasingly important role the World Wide Web plays as an information source, and yet with the continuing problems that certain individuals, particularly those with disabilities and those using 'non-standard' Web browsing technology, it is vital that web resource providers be aware of design features which introduce barriers affecting the accessibility of on-line information.
   The role of the accessibility audit is seen as an important one in uncovering, describing, and explaining potential accessibility barriers present in a web site. It furthermore acts as an educational tool by raising awareness in accessible design amongst web designers and content providers in providing them with a recovery plan for improving the accessibility of the audited resource, and potentially other resources.
   In 1999, the authors were commissioned to carry out accessibility audits of 11 web sites in the UK Higher Education sector. This paper discusses the development of the methodology used to carry out the audits, the findings of the audits in terms of accessibility levels of the subject sites, and feedback as a result of the auditing process. It concludes by looking at ways in which the methodology adopted may be tailored to suit specific types of web resource evaluation.
Keywords: Accessibility; Methodology; Usability; Web resource; UK Higher Education
Intelligent speech for information systems: towards biliteracy and trilingualism BIBAK 327-339
  Helen M. Meng; Steven Lee; Carmen Wai
We are developing a human-computer spoken language system capable of processing English, Cantonese and Putonghua (two dialects of Chinese). Such biliteracy and trilingualism characterize Hong Kong's language environment. Users can simply converse with the system to access real-time information in the foreign exchange domain. The system supports user calls with fixed-line as well as cellular phones, both of which have high penetration in Hong Kong. As such, we strive towards universal usability in developing speech and language interface technologies by (i) supporting multiple languages for user diversity; (ii) requiring no specialized training for system usage to avoid user knowledge gaps; and (iii) supporting device variety in telephone-based information access.
Keywords: Speech interfaces; Spoken language systems; Multilingual; Conversational systems
Yes/No or Maybe -- further evaluation of an interface for brain-injured individuals BIBAK 341-358
  Eamon P. Doherty; Gilbert Cockton; Chris Bloor; Joann Rizzo; Bruce Blondina; Bruce Davis
Brain-body interfaces (BBIs) have been shown through a number of studies to be useful assistive technology devices for recreation and communication. However, severely motor impaired persons with no other means of interacting with their environment have had difficulties using the standard communication software for the Cyberlink, the commercially available BBI device which we used in our studies. We have therefore developed a simple Yes/No program, drawing on a range of design and evaluation approaches from Human-Computer Interaction research. This paper presents the first extensive evaluation of this program. Its evaluation combines formal assessments with observations from users, carers and technology and mental health professionals who are involved in the research. Our conclusions are that the performance of severely impaired individuals cannot be readily separated from that of novice unimpaired users, that worthwhile results can be achieved with the Yes/No program, but at the moment the cost of using a Cyberlink is too high for most assistive technology contexts. However, for severely impaired individuals, Cyberlink use may be the only form of recreation and communication available to them, and thus the current limitations of the technology are acceptable for this user population.
Keywords: Brain-body interface; Yes/No program; Human-computer interaction
Head-operated computer controls: effect of control method on performance for subjects with and without disability BIBAK 359-377
  Edmund F. LoPresti; David M. Brienza; Jennifer Angelo
Head-operated computer controls provide an alternative means of computer access for people with physical disabilities. A person's ability to use such head controls may be reduced if he or she experiences neck movement limitations. Five experimental methods of compensating for neck movement limitations were evaluated in comparison to a standard head control interface. Twenty-two subjects without disabilities and three subjects with multiple sclerosis performed icon acquisition exercises using the standard interface and each of the five experimental compensation methods. Subjects without disabilities had less tendency to overshoot the target icons when using an interface with decreased sensitivity or one in which head movements controlled cursor velocity rather than cursor position (p<0.05). Subjects with multiple sclerosis tended to be more accurate when using an interface with increased sensitivity, and had less tendency to overshoot icons when using head movements to control cursor velocity rather than cursor position. Overall, subjects tended to demonstrate faster performance when using an interface with reduced sensitivity.
Keywords: Disability; Head controls; Configuration; Gesture input; Order of control; Head movement
Scenarios and task analysis BIBAK 379-395
  Dan Diaper
A Critical Review of Carroll's book on scenario-based design is offered [Making Use: Scenario-Based Design of Human-Computer Interactions (2000)]. Carroll characterises scenarios as 'stories about use'. The paper demonstrates that Carroll's proposals about scenarios and their use in software engineering can be fitted into the broader framework of task analysis in Human-Computer Interaction.
Keywords: Scenarios; Task analysis; Systems analysis; Software engineering
Scenarios and the HCI-SE design problem BIBAK 397-405
  David Benyon; Catriona Macaulay
Diaper's critical review of Carroll's book 'Making Use' raises a number of interesting issues about how to set about the design of interactive systems. In particular Diaper poses an issue that has long dogged the area of Human-Computer Interaction and Software Engineering (HCI-SE), namely how to deal with the formality required by the SE side and the sensitivity to context required by the HCI side. In this paper, we report on the experience of using scenario-based design and reflect on the effectiveness of the approach. This work fits into a broader context concerned with understanding exactly what the HCI-SE design problem is and now it might be best conceptualised.
Keywords: Scenarios; Design; Object-oriented; Human-Computer Interaction and Software Engineering; Philosophy
Commentary on 'scenarios and task analysis' by Dan Diaper BIB 407-409
  Fabio Paterno
Commentary on "scenarios and task analysis" by Dan Diaper BIB 411-412
  Tom Carey

IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 5

Data entry for mobile devices: an empirical comparison of novice performance with Jot and Graffiti BIBAK 413-433
  Andrew Sears; Renee Arora
In this article, we report on an empirical comparison of two common gesture recognition techniques. Thirty-one novices completed six realistic tasks using either Jot or Graffiti. An analysis of error-corrected data entry rates indicates that participants using Jot completed the tasks significantly faster than those using Graffiti. An analysis of uncorrected errors yielded no significant differences while several questions assessing subjective satisfaction yielded significantly more positive results for Jot. A new event called Period of Difficulty (PoD) is proposed to help identify situations were novices experience significant difficulty. Users experience more PoD when entering basic alphanumeric characters using Graffiti than they do using Jot. In contrast, Jot users experience more PoD when entering symbols than Graffiti users. Further, a detailed analysis of the PoD provides insights regarding the definition and use of the inherent accuracy metric while highlighting opportunities to improve the underlying technologies. We conclude by providing specific recommendations for improving the usability of Jot and Graffiti for novice users and outlining several additional directions for future research.
Keywords: Data entry; Mobile devices; Jot; Graffiti; Gesture recognition
Using music to communicate computing information BIBAK 435-456
  Paul Vickers; James L. Alty
The audio channel remains little used in most computing applications, often its use being relegated to providing trivial sound effects whose novelty value soon wears off. Nevertheless, in principle sound offers much to the process of human-computer interaction as for most people the notion of auditory imagery is easily accepted.
   In this paper we explore how sound, specifically musical sound, can be used to communicate computing information. The findings of two studies are presented. The first investigated how pitch intervals and musical phrases of complex (non-sinusoidal) tones can be recognised. The second study aimed to demonstrate that musical structures could communicate information about high-level programming language structures and program run-time behaviour. Both studies showed that music could successfully be used as a communication medium and that listeners did not need to be musically trained to benefit from the audio signals. Finally, recommendations for further work are made.
Keywords: Music; Communication; Visualisation; Auditory display; Program auralisation
Musical program auralisation: a structured approach to motif design BIBAK 457-485
  Paul Vickers; James L. Alty
In an earlier paper, Vickers and Alty (2002) showed that musically untrained users could make use of musical cues to understand computing information. Using a technique known as musical program auralisation, they showed that music could communicate run-time and structural information about Pascal programs.
   This paper describes how a set of hierarchically related auralisation motifs was designed and constructed within a formal musical framework. These auralisations were then evaluated in an experiment to determine how well they could be interpreted by computer science students. The results showed that the musical motifs were generally understood by the subjects and that any prior musical training of the subjects did not affect their ability to interpret the musical signals.
   Based on the results of the experiment and study of some cognitive aspects of music perception, a set of organising principles for musical program auralisation is proposed. Finally, recommendations for further study are made with particular regard to assessing the usefulness of the auralisations in program debugging situations.
Keywords: Music; Communication; Visualisation; Auditory display; Program auralisation
Users' schemata of hypermedia: what is so 'spatial' about a website? BIBAK 487-502
  J. Shawn Farris; Keith S. Jones; Peter D. Elgin
This study examined users' schemata of hypermedia. It is frequently assumed that users' schemata contain spatial information about how the pages of a website are interconnected. However, it is not clear how these schemata could contain such information when none is presented to the user while he/she is exploring the website. Unfortunately, there has been little research addressing this assumption. Toward that end, the reported study examined the mental representations (i.e. schemata) acquired when using hypermedia by systematically varying the interconnections within a website while holding the information that the website contained constant. Analyses of 40 participants' drawings of the website's organization indicate that drawings largely reflected conceptual (i.e. semantic) relationships, and not the true nature of the website's interconnections. In light of this research, it is suggested that we reevaluate the conjecture that hypermedia is mentally represented in ways similar to the physical world.
Keywords: Hypermedia; Schema; Mental representation; Connection-structure; Spatial
A longitudinal study of attitude changes in a medical service organisation after an email introduction BIBAK 503-519
  O. Balter
A health care organisation was observed over a period of four years during their introduction of email to 6000 employees. The observed managers were positive to email from the start, despite problem with attachments and concerns for lacking computer knowledge. Email had a positive effect on employees attitudes to perceived computer knowledge as well as their abilities to learn more about computers. Negative for all was the blind mass mailings from within the organisation.
Keywords: Attitudes; Email; Managers; Longitudinal
Testing dialogue systems by means of automatic generation of conversations BIBAK 521-546
  R. Lopez-Cozar; A. De la Torre; J. C. Segura; A. J. Rubio; V. Sanchez
This paper presents a novel technique that allows testing spoken dialogue systems by means of an automatic generation of conversations. The technique permits to easily test spoken dialogue systems under a variety of lab-simulated conditions, as it is easy to vary or change the utterance corpus used to check the performance of the system. The technique is based on the use of a module called user simulator whose purpose is to behave as real users when they interact with dialogue systems. The behaviour of the simulator is decided by means of diverse scenarios that represent the goals of the users. The simulator aim is to achieve the goals set in the scenarios during the interaction with the dialogue system. We have applied the technique to test a dialogue system developed in our lab. The test has been carried out considering different levels of white and babble noise as well as a VTS noise compensation technique. The results prove that the dialogue system performance is worse under the babble noise conditions. The VTS technique has been effective when dealing with noisy utterances and has lead to better experimental results, particularly for the white noise. The technique has permitted to detect problems in the dialogue strategies employed to handle confirmation turns and recognition errors, suggesting that these strategies must be improved.
Keywords: Dialogue system; Dialogue management; Speech recognition; Sentence understanding; Natural language generation; Speech synthesis; User simulator
A grounded theory approach to modelling learnability of hypermedia authoring tools BIBAK 547-574
  G. J. Elliott; E. Jones; P. Barker
One potential barrier to the development of educational hypermedia is the design of current hypermedia authoring tools (HATs) that unfortunately require higher knowledge and skills levels than possessed by most academics. Whilst the usability of hypermedia has been extensively researched, the usability of the tools required to build hypermedia has not. Learnability of HATs, an associated factor of usability, has been similarly neglected. Analysing contemporary approaches to the study of human computer interaction, this paper concludes that they do not support the kind of 'theory building' required to study and describe the learnability of HATs. Grounded theory (GT) is posited as an alternative approach, which if applied correctly can provide explanatory theory to inform HAT design. The paper describes the application of GT to two studies of the ease-of-learning of HATs. The first study uses quantitative and qualitative data to explore the experiences of 16 subjects learning to use HATs. In the second study, key HATs are demonstrated to a focus group of IT trainers to analyse their observations of users learning HATs. From these studies a causal model of learnability of HATs that is more detailed and complete than that offered by other contemporary theories of learnability was developed. The paper concludes that applying a GT approach can enhance HCI research through the development of explanatory, extensible and evolutionary theory to inform HAT design.
Keywords: Hypermedia; Learnability; Grounded theory; Authoring tools
Trust in information sources: seeking information from people, documents, and virtual agents BIBAK 575-599
  Morten Hertzum; Hans H. K. Andersen; Verner Andersen; Camilla B. Hansen
The notion of trust has been virtually absent from most work on how people assess and choose their information sources. Based on two empirical cases this study shows that software engineers and users of e-commerce websites devote a lot of attention to considerations about the trustworthiness of their sources, which include people, documents, and virtual agents. In the project-based software engineering environment trust tends to be a collaborative issue and the studied software engineers normally know their sources first-hand or have them recommended by colleagues. Outside this network people are cautious and alert to even feeble cues about source trustworthiness. For example, users of e-commerce websites -- generally perceived as single-user environments -- react rather strongly to the visual appearance of virtual agents, though this is clearly a surface attribute. Across the two cases people need access to their sources in ways that enable them to assess source trustworthiness, access alone is not enough.
Keywords: Trust; Information-seeking behaviour; Information sources; Personified virtual agents; Usability criteria
Web navigation and the behavioral effects of constantly visible site maps BIBAK 601-618
  David R. Danielson
Knowledge regarding how Web information-seekers behave with respect to the structures and cues they are provided with may shed light on general principles of navigation in electronic spaces, and assist designers in making more informed structural decisions. This study examines user movement through hierarchically structured Web sites and the behavioral effects of a constantly visible, textual contents list for relatively small sites or more extensive local views than are generally used on the Web today. The site overview resulted in users abandoning fewer information-seeking tasks. Users with such context dig deeper into the site structure, make less use of the browser's Back button, and frequently make navigational movements of great hierarchical distances. Navigational correlates of success and reported confidence for users with the overview differ from those without such context. Both with and without a constant overview, the relationship between the source and destination pages may help predict the amount of time spent at the destination. Experimental reports are preceded by a review of click-stream navigation behavior research.
Keywords: Navigation; Site map; Orientation; Usability; World Wide Web; Information seeking
Making use is more than a matter of task analysis BIB 619-627
  John M. Carroll
Task scenarios and thought BIBAK 629-638
  Dan Diaper
The position that scenarios are low fidelity task simulations and can be understood from a broadly defined, performance based perspective of task analysis is one that is defended. It is argued that scenarios used for engineering purposes are impoverished in comparison with the sort of properties enjoyed by good stories and that the metaphor of scenarios as stories is one of limited utility. A general psychological theory that thought can be described as envisioned scenarios is espoused and that this will be generally useful to non-psychologists and facilitate the understanding of the limitations of scenarios as used for the purposes of scenario-based design.
Keywords: Task analysis; Scenarios; Human-computer interaction; Software engineering; Simulations; Fidelity; Stories; Cognitive psychology

IWC 2002 Volume 14 Issue 6

Intelligence and interaction in community-based systems BIB 639-642
  Kostas Stathis; Patrick Purcell
Exquisite variety: computer as mirror to community BIBAK 643-662
  Ian Beeson
An approach is developed to building information systems whose purpose is to express (rather than regulate) the life of a community group. The story of a community group, as understood and told by its members, is taken as the basis for building a computer system which reflects the life of the community. Development of the system is seen as an open-ended process of discovery, collaboration and experiential learning. Engagement with the technology is understood as a 'tactical' practice on the part of the users. A fieldwork exercise conducted along these lines with one community group, in which the group used hypermedia technology to make a shared story, is described. Aspects of process and form in story making on a computer, in this project and more generally, are discussed.
Keywords: Variety; Story; Hypermedia; Community; Collage
Living memory: agent-based information management for connected local communities BIBAK 663-688
  Kostas Stathis; Oscar de Bruijn; Silvio Macedo
We investigate the application of multi-agent systems to develop intelligent information interfaces for connected communities, a class of computer applications aimed at enhancing the way people interact and socialise in geographically co-located communities such as neighbourhoods. In this context, we study the problem of providing effective information management in support of social interaction when a diverse range of computing devices is employed. The novelty of our approach is based on combining innovative interactive devices with a framework based on agent roles in order to support the effective flow of community-related content for the people of a given locality. In particular, we have integrated existing techniques for information retrieval and filtering with measures of content popularity, to ensure that documents in the community system are optimally available. After reporting on the potential presence of the system in the community, we report on the development of a framework for multi-agent systems in which agents provide a number of services aimed at facilitating personalised and location-dependent information access to members of the community. We also present a summary of the results of an expert evaluation of the information flow resulting from the communication between agents, and a user-evaluation of the information dissemination facilities provided by the system.
Keywords: Connected communities; Interaction design; Software agents; Information dissemination; User profiles; Acquaintance models
Design and deployment of community systems: reflections on the Campiello experience BIBAK 689-712
  A. Agostini; G. De Michelis; M. Divitini; M. A. Grasso; D. Snowdon
The last decade has witnessed a growing interest in what technology can do to sustain communities. Within the Campiello project innovative information technologies have been adopted to support the dynamic exchange of experiences among people living in cities with high levels of tourism, in this way reducing the progressive diminishing of identity suffered by the local communities of these cities. The system developed has been used, for an experimental period, in a neighborhood of Venice, Italy. In the paper, we reflect on the whole Campiello experience, considering all its development phases. These reflections are organized as a set of issues that require attention, respectively, in the design and deployment of community systems, illustrated with examples from Campiello. We believe that due to the relative novelty of community systems, this type of reflection is important to inform the design of future systems such that they better fulfill their objectives and become an integral part of community practices.
Keywords: Community-based systems; Community memory; Innovative interfaces; Large screens
Conference assistant system for supporting knowledge sharing in academic communities BIBAK 713-737
  Yasuyuki Sumi; Kenji Mase
This paper describes our ongoing attempts to build a communityware system by presenting a project of providing digital assistants to support participants in an academic conference. We provided participants at the conference with a personal assistant system with mobile and ubiquitous computing technologies and facilitated communication among the participants. We also made online services available via the Web to encourage the participants to continue their relationships even after the conference. In this paper, we show the system we provided for the project and report the results.
Keywords: Communityware; Conference assistant; Personal agent; Support for new encounters; Knowledge sharing
Effectiveness of spatial representation in the formation of network communities: experimental study on community organizer BIBAK 739-759
  Koji Kamei; Kunihiko Fujita; Eva Jettmar; Sen Yoshida; Kazuhiro Kuwabara
In this paper, we present and discuss Community Organizer, a system designed to support network communities. The main characteristic of Community Organizer is the use of spatial representations for the relationships among community members including the communications exchanged among these members. These spatial representations reflect the degree of closeness of interests and concerns among the members, and are intended to provide users with clues on how to form network communities. In order to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed spatial representations, we conducted experiments with two different versions of the software. One version offered meaningful spatial representations while the other version did not. The subjects who used the former software version felt a greater sense of 'community', enjoyed using the software more, and actively used it longer than the subjects using the latter software version (control condition). These results indicated that the proposed spatial representations are effective in supporting network community formation.
Keywords: Network community; Communities of interests; Community support; Community formation; User interface; Empirical study; Socialware
Discovering user communities on the Internet using unsupervised machine learning techniques BIBAK 761-791
  G. Paliouras; C. Papatheodorou; V. Karkaletsis; C. D. Spyropoulos
Interest in the analysis of user behaviour on the Internet has been increasing rapidly, especially since the advent of electronic commerce. In this context, we argue here for the usefulness of constructing communities of users with common behaviour, making use of machine learning techniques. In particular, we assume that the users of any service on the Internet constitute a large community and we aim to construct smaller communities of users with common characteristics. The paper presents the results of three case studies for three different types of Internet service: a digital library, an information broker and a Web site. Particular attention is paid on the different types of information access involved in the three case studies: query-based information retrieval, profile-based information filtering and Web-site navigation. Each type of access imposes different constraints on the representation of the learning task. Two different unsupervised learning methods are evaluated: conceptual clustering and cluster mining. One of our main concerns is the construction of meaningful communities that can be used for improving information access on the Internet. Analysis of the results in the three case studies brings to surface some of the important properties of the task, suggesting the feasibility of a common methodology for the three different types of information access on the Internet.
Keywords: User communities; Collaborative filtering; User modelling; Machine learning; Web mining
When bugs sing BIBAK 793-819
  Paul Vickers; James L. Alty
In The Songs of Insects, Pierce (1949) described the striped ground cricket, Nemobius fasciatus-fasciatus, which chirps at a rate proportional to ambient air temperature. Twenty chirps-per-second tell us it is 31.4 °C; 16 chirps and it is 27 °C. This is a natural example of an auditory display, a mechanism for communicating data with sound. By applying auditory display techniques to computer programming we have attempted to give the bugs that live in software programs their own songs. We have developed the CAITLIN musical program auralisation system Vickers and Alty, 2002b) to allow structured musical mappings to be made of the constructs in Pascal programs. Initial experimental evaluation [Interacting with Computers (2002a,b)] showed that subjects could interpret the musical motifs used to represent the various Pascal language constructs.
   In this paper we describe how the CAITLIN system was used to study the effects of musical program auralisation on debugging tasks performed by novice Pascal programmers. The results of the experiment indicate that a formal musical framework can act as a medium for communicating information about program behaviour, and that the information communicated could be used to assist with the task of locating bugs in faulty programs.
Keywords: Auditory display; Music; HCI; Auralisation; Debugging; Pascal
Prototype evaluation and redesign: structuring the design space through contextual techniques BIBAK 821-843
  Andy Smith; Lynne Dunckley
This paper addresses the problems involved in the progress through evaluation and redesign from one interface prototype to the next stage of development. An approach is proposed based on situated action techniques for the early identification of user interface issues and their translation into design factors that lead to design improvements. The approach can be used within parallel prototyping or iterative development. Situated action is increasingly popular for the participative identification of user requirements for information systems and is usually implemented at an early stage in systems development. In contrast the most frequently used method for user participation within detailed interface design is within iterative user-based evaluation which is often performed relatively late in the development. The method described involves linking developer-user contextual evaluation sessions, where developers observe user's responses to an interactive prototype, and team evidence analysis sessions, where a group of designers work together to derive design decisions with the evidence collected from the users. The proposed method is tested in an experimental design. The proposed techniques provide a rich source of user evidence that can be brought to bear on the enhancement of prototype user interfaces. The study also showed how team working within a group of developers is important to effective design.
Keywords: Interface design; Contextual inquiry; LUCID; Developer-user contextual evaluation; Team evidence analysis